Africa: Botswana Vies for Forbes 2020

Gaborone — Botswana is vying to host the Forbes 2020 under 30 summit scheduled for April next year.

Speaking during a briefing yesterday, President Dr Mokweetsi Masisi said should Botswana be successful, it would be historic as it would be the first time the summit was held in Africa.

"The government is currently in negotiation with Forbes to host the summit in Gaborone as part of the President's initiative and brings together 600 of the world's most elite entrepreneurs and game-changers, including 200 from the host country and 200 of the best under 30s from around the world," he said.

The summit would place Botswana in the centre of entrepreneurship and incubate the local startup scene while providing media exposure for its audience of 100 million people, he explained.

Dr Masisi also announced that Steve Harvey's Family Feuds Africa Productions show would relocate to Botswana where it was expected to create more job opportunities and apprenticeships.

As part of the President's Initiative, Dr Masisi has previously hosted Mr Harvey and Zimbabwean businessman Mr Strive Masiyiwa.

He said collaboration between Steve Harvey's corporation and government would see a full film movie production in the country starting in 2020.

Two Batswana apprentices, he said, would be joining Steve Harvey's global apprenticeship on the filming of the Family Feuds show in South Africa.

Television and radio presenter Ms Neo Aobobe and graphic designer and web manager Mr Maxwell Dichi would represent Botswana on the show.

Subsequent to Mr Masiyiwa's visit, Dr Masisi said a deal was struck between a youth entrepreneur and the businessman.

Mr Masiyiwa has committed to provide training for 1 500 young innovators and entrepreneurs for a period of three years through the Muzinda Hub Programme.

Through the programme, Dr Masisi stated, the youth would acquire skills to set up enterprises to create employment opportunities for other young people.

In addition, Mr Masiyiwa had also made commitment to provide technical assistance to government in ensuring that youth-led ICT companies took up projects.

Liquid Telecom Group went into partnership with Botswana Innovation Hub and the Dare To Dream Foundation to train 1 500 young people in coding and software development.

"To date 500 young people have been selected for the training of which 60 per cent are female at a cost of P3 500 per student over six months," he noted. So far 101 have already been trained.

Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration Mr Nonofo Molefhi said the President's Initiative was born out of Dr Masisi's conviction to create opportunities for Batswana youth and youth entrepreneurs.

"To achieve this, the government envisages a strong private-public partnership relationship which will give value and credence to this initiative. As such different approaches and methodologies will be employed to meet this objective which includes bringing in global influencers, driving investments to attract them to Botswana, holding town hall meetings and other fora to engage the citizenry," said Minister Molefhi.

Source : BOPA

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